Colonial Intelligence

Alarming Fires in the Woods of Main and New Brunswick.–A gentleman, who arrived here on Thursday, in the schooner Active, from Eastport, informs, that the drought in the neighbourhood of St. Croix river, the present season, has been unusually severe, and that the fires in the woods have raged to a more alarming extent than ever before known. Several buildings have been burnt at the parish of St. Stephen’s on the British side of the river, others were saved with a great difficulty. From Calais to Eastport, about a fortnight since, the vessel in which our informant took passage was entirely enveloped in smoke.– In various places, the fires have been burning for six weeks ; there had been no rain for eight weeks to wet the ground.– Boston Paper.

Extract of a letter to a Lady in the vicinity of Chelmsford, dated New Essex, Graham’s Town, on the frontiers of Africa, June 21, 1821:–

“I am seven hundred miles from the Cape of Good Hope, and should not receive intelligence of an arrival there for at least three weeks ; but my correspondent at Cape Town will procure comfortable lodgings, &c. until a ship sails for Algoa Bay, which is distant from me one hundred and thirty miles.– Few ships from England proceed farther than the Cape. Good ploughmen are wanted, and good footploughs, with spare wrought-iron shares and coulters, which are very expensive here ; iron-work nothing under 1s. per lb. Ransome’s ploughs sell for 14l. each. Ploughmen will find plenty of employers, at from 2l. to 8l. per month and their board. Meat sells at 2d. per lb ; wheat 12s. bushel ; and barley 6s. Other articles of housekeeping are about the same price as in England ; but, on the other hand, we are in one of the healthiest climates in the world, and free from rent, tithes, and taxes of every description. Any one may live here as well with 500l. as in his native land with 5000l. The farming work is still[?] done with oxen, which are very fine, and bought at 3l. each ; cows are 30s. ; and sheep, 6s. a-head (having tails that weight 8lb., a complete lump of fat) ; clothes, linen, and all English goods, very dear.– Good mechanics, of any description, have very high wages. A cargo of Ladies would make a good speculation, in proceeding to the New Settlement ; for all that came out with the settlers have got husbands.”

By letters received from the Cape of Good Hope, we understand that the Royal African corps was disbanded there on the 26th of June last.

By letters from Bombay, dated the 24 of May, we learn that the Governor, the Honourable Mr. Elphinstone, has returned to the Presidency, after a five months’ tour to the northward. He must minutely examined all the judicial and revenue systems–furnishing the Collectors and Agents of Government with particular instructions for their guidance. He also sent out strong detachments to reduce some predatory hordes who have long plundered the country, and been a terror to the peaceable natives. Those plunderers are are called Bheels[?]. They live in the hills and woods, and descend in bands to commit their depredations. By these letters we learn, what is essential for young men going out to India to know, that Writers and Cadets now undergo an examination as to their knowledge of the native languages ; and no youth has a chance of success who is ignorant of the Hindoustanee[?]. The highest respect is entertained for the able manner in which the disinterested Dr. Gilchrist prepares young men for the services. We rejoice to learn that the Cholera Morbus has abated its rigour in the Deccan.

Batavia journals of the 28th April give an account of a terrible earthquake which took place on the 29th December last, on the south coast of Celebes. It did immense damage, especially at Budekomba[?], where the sea rose several times to a prodigious height, and then falling in with the incredible rapidity, alternately deluged and left the shore, destroying all the plantations from Bontain to Boelekomba[?]. Many hundred have lost their lives. The fort of Boelekom-[?] ba was much damaged, that of Bontain less so. On the 4th of January this year, there was another shock of an earthquake, but we do not learn that it did any damage. It is with much regret we lay before our readers the following details of a most calamitous fire which broke out at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the 17th ult. :

” Halifax, Sept. 17. “The conflagration this morning was one of the most awful and destructive every witness in Halifax. It originated in Sackville-street, in the Bakery occupied by Shay and Milany, and before it was discovered, had gained an alarming height. It was near two o’clock when the bells were rung. The troops, seamean of his Majesty’s ships, and inhabitants, soon assembled ; the engines were judiciously placed, lines formed to different reservoirs of water, and every exertion made to extinguish the fire, but we regret to state, that before any check could be given to it, the whole block of buildings, with the exception of a house situated at the corner of Sackville and Blowers’-streets, occupied by Mr H. Croskill, the houses occupied by Mrs. Neilson and Mr T. Muirhead, on Barringtonstreet, and a stable belonging to J. W. Johnston, Esq. in Granville-street, were consumed.

“For some time great apprehensions were entertaintained that the fire would extend to the houses on the opposite side of the streets, but fortunately it did not. Of the property burnt only about t1500 were insured, and the calamity has mostly fallen where it will long be severely felt–upon windows and orphan children– upon industrious tradesmen, whose whole stock of worldly wealth was invested in the tenements they occupied.

“To the troops, and the seamen of the ships of war, the town is, as usual, greatly indebted for the exertions made by them. Twenty-one houses were consumed, with other valuable property.”

America appears to be very unhealthy just now– The accounts from Long Island, Baltimore, Amelia Island, and Norfolk, are extremely calamitous. The whole of Amelia Island is a perfect hospital, not one family being well, and in many instances not one to assist another. So dreadful, indeed, is the disease, that there is not one sentinel to do duty. A New York Paper of the 30th ult. says–

We are sorry to perceive from the Franklin Gazette, that the malignant fever continues to make serious ravages among our fellow citizens at Baltimore. Four full victims to it in the 24 hours ending on Sunday morning ; and six during the 24 hours ending Monday morning.

Citation: Aberdeen Journal (Aberdeen, United Kingdom), 17 October 1821, available at the Scissors and Paste Database,